FREE WATER IN LOWELL.
Commissioner George H. Brown, of Lowell, Mass., has brought up the free water question in that city, the question of water being supplied to city departments without the Water Department receiving return for it. He recently declared the Street Department would be called upon by him to pay $5,000 a year for the use of water on sprinkling cars and carts. Commissioner Brown asserts that if he gets that amount it will be only half of that which by right should, be paid to the Water Department by the Street Department. He declares that various amounts of water are being consumed by city departments every year, and not a cent is received by the Water Department, which, he says, is not good business. The Park Department gets water in the winter for the flooding of skating places and for over twenty fountains in the summer months, and the Water Department receives nothing for it. The Street Department, too, takes large quantities of water for street sprinkling every summer and the department receives practically nothing for supplying it. Commissioner Brown declares that, as a matter of sound business, he must bring the matter to the attention of the Municipal Council, and that it is simply an attempt to put the Water Department on a paying basis, and he points out that had the Water Department been paid for all water used by city departments in the past thirty years there would have been additional revenue of over $400,000. The Lowell incident is merely another example clearly demonstrating the necessity of properly accounting for every gallon of water delivered, by adopting the progressive business principle of charging each city department for the water it uses. In no other way can the water department receive full credit for what it does.